Don’t Wait To See How Cookies Crumble; Cook Up a New Data Strategy Now

By neub9
3 Min Read

The World of Third-Party Cookies: A Business Decision

Imagine a world where you make candy and cakes. Almost all your competitors make similar candy and cakes, but you do well because your cakes are awesome.

In this world, you and your fellow confectioners in the marketplace rely on the same kind of chocolate. One company controls a huge percentage of that high-quality chocolate supply. People may grumble that the company is too big and powerful, but they still buy it because the chocolate is good and cheaper than everybody else’s.

Suddenly, with much fanfare and public outcry, the world deems chocolate harmful to public health but it’s not going to vanish. The major chocolate provider says, “We’re going to make something that’s just like chocolate but without any of the dangerous things the public is worried about. Trust us.” Does that affect your business choice? Would you think the chocolate supplier might be taking advantage of the situation?

Well, that’s where publishers and advertisers are today with third-party cookies. In response to privacy concerns, Google is stopping support of third-party cookies, offering a new version with no transparency.

We’ve covered the idea of privacy and the departure of third-party cookies a few times. I’ll break it down. A few weeks ago, I talked about Google and the status of the third-party cookie. Now, Google has large market shares for web browsers, content/publishers, AND search advertising. Google is the key player of the ad industry.

When Google eliminates third-party cookies, everybody in business will see their ad performance take a huge hit. Publishers, media companies, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), and even tech companies are having toxic freakouts. Google is smart, of course. It’s not just taking away the third-party cookie, it fuels their revenue, too.

As Google started the work in 2019, great debates arose with groups like IAB, representing the affected industries, on how to do things. In 2023, it rolled out the solution to a cookie-free world. It created a data exchange called “Switzerland,” a neutral place to identify people to target with ads without either side giving up their data identities. Google called this PAIR — Publisher Advertiser Identity Reconciliation.

What does all this mean for you? I guarantee no matter which solution ends up being the standard, it’s not going to be easier to target content. If you don’t have a first-party data strategy and a way to get a 360-degree view of your audience as they journey through your content experiences, marketing and advertising will get a lot more expensive.

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